With only four days left for the presidential election, it is increasingly becoming clear that the two non-Congress players — the TRS and the TDP —may abstain from voting as they have little choice. The YSRC has almost made up its mind to back the UPA candidate, albeit in a low-key manner, thanks to the efforts of MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Anakapalle MP Sabbam Hari who have prevailed over the party’s incarcerated chief Jagan Mohan Reddy to vote for Pranab.
Jagan has reportedly carped at the double-face of the Congress; on the one hand they lock him up, painting him with a black brush and on the other, secretly plead with him to help it out. However, what assurance or quid pro quo has been arrived at is unknown.
As for the TDP, Chandrababu Naidu, already beset with several problems, has not given assurance to either Pranab or Sangma though the latter has personally approached him. “We can be possibly associated with the Congress or the BJP,” said a TDP camp follower.
But the party that finds itself on a cleft stick on this issue is the TRS, which had so far been all for the UPA candidate but suddenly finds itself in doubts for two reasons. Political observers of the pink party point out: “The TRS wins on anti-Congress plank till it achieves Telangana state. And, the high hopes raised by Chidambaram recently stating that the T-State was on anvil was dashed by the recent remarks of Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy that it would be a longish affair. And, its social and intellectual arm, the TJAC, is publicly asking the party to boycott the elections as the Congress was not committing itself on the T issue.” Now, brushing aside KCR’s go-slow theory, TJAC leader Kodandaram has called a ‘million T march’ in Hyderabad on September 30.
Moreover, the BJP which had all along been for the T-State may gain mileage if the TRS votes Pranab.
Mukherjee is seen as the man who delayed the delivery of Telangana. Party chief Kishan Reddy has made the move to say that only the BJP and NDA can perform the midwifery of Telangana and the Congress is a quack. The TRS therefore has to abstain if the Congress leadership unequivocally declares the formation of the T-State in a definite timeframe.
“Whatever, the presidential election has given us some comic relief,” remarked George Mathen, a mid-level executive of a pharmaceutical firm after hearing all the antics of various parties. He perhaps sums it up.
About the Author (Author Profile)
PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.